Towards the 152nd Salesian Missionary Expedition: Daniel Glass

RMG – Towards the 152nd Salesian Missionary Expedition: Daniel Glass

(ANS – Rome) – Daniel Glass is a young American, 33-years-old, who grew up in the Province of the United States East and Canada (SUE) but destined for the Province of Africa Congo Congo (ACC). He is the second missionary to be featured in ANS in view of the 152nd Salesian Missionary Expedition (Turin-Valdocco, 21 November 2021). Speaking of what prompted him to become a missionary, he states: “Two things, above all: to be completely available to the Rector Major to fill in and go where the Congregation might need me the most; and the desire to serve God above all else. Because being sent away from your home province and comfort zone is that step into the unknown that can bring out a great leap of faith and a deeper dependence on God.

Did you choose the destination or was it assigned to you? Are you happy with it?

In some ways, the Congo was certainly my choice, but directly -No! It was not! When I was accepted, I said I had an openness to being sent to Africa and learning French as well, among other preferences… In any case, I have always been happy with my assignments and ministries as a Salesian, and I am completely convinced that God will continue to sustain my joy wherever I go!

How did the people close to you take your missionary choice?

For the most part, everyone has been supportive of my vocation to the missions. I know the beautiful support I have felt is not easy though -especially for my family. And I think this kind of reflects the loving support that I have constantly felt.

Do you have any doubts or fears about the new culture, the new reality…?

Maybe I am just naïve. But I do not really have many fears at all. I know there will be challenges and struggles. But if I live in God’s grace and lean on my Salesian Family for support when I need it, I know there is good that will come out of any struggle that I may face. 

What projects or dreams do you have for your mission?

I don’t really have any plans exactly. My only dream is to grow in faithfulness and humility. If I can grow in these two virtues especially, I believe God will do the rest. 

Do you have missionary role models that you want to imitate?

My two inspirations are the two whom the Church holds up as the patrons of the missions: St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Francis Xavier. St. Therèse is my first model since her whole heart was burning for the love of God; though she never stepped foot ‘in the missions’, her little way of love, her passion for Christ and her desire to see souls in Heaven, mixed with her simple, childlike humility always inspired me! From St. Francis Xavier, I learn his active zeal and missionary passion!

Missionary life is above all evangelization and pastoral zeal for souls. Do you feel ready in this field?

Although I am usually rather reserved in my demeanor, which may not be the cliché image of zeal, my heart wants nothing more than to bring Christ to those who suffer the most, especially to the young, because in my short Salesian life I have always been moved by the great challenges that young people face and by their profound need for Christ in their life.

Do you want to send a message to your confreres or to the young people?

I would say to my confreres that we are all Salesians, we live and profess the same constitutions, consecration, and the same virtues associated with missionaries: availability, detachment, poverty, humility… We all have the same struggle ahead of us as consecrated Salesians. While to young people, I would simply say: open your heart! God’s call and God’s love are certainly enough to fill a life completely! Open your heart to Christ and His love because He has a beautiful journey for you!

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